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EPIC Files FTC Complaint Over Facebook's New Privacy Policy 103

An anonymous reader writes "The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking the agency to investigate the recent changes made by Facebook to the privacy settings of Facebook users. The complaint discusses the sharing of user information with third-party developers and the new, widely-opposed 'Everyone' setting, which allows certain user information, such as name, profile picture, and friends lists, to be publicly available. EPIC also urges the FTC to compel Facebook to restore privacy safeguards. The complaint was signed by nine privacy and consumer organizations."
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EPIC Files FTC Complaint Over Facebook's New Privacy Policy

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  • by El Gigante de Justic ( 994299 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:59PM (#30479924)

    The point is that you CAN'T change your privacy settings back to how they were.
    For example, you can no longer have your Profile Pic show up for friends only, and you can't hide your friends list from non-friends anymore either, along with a few other items on the profile page.

    Adding new privacy settings is good - eliminating existing privacy features is not.

  • What is the deal? (Score:1, Informative)

    by space_jake ( 687452 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:02PM (#30479978)
    What are these people trying to hide the fact that they're friends with Hitler or something?
  • Re:What is the deal? (Score:2, Informative)

    by zorg50 ( 581726 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:14PM (#30480142)
    Not all of us want our photos, etc. to be publicly available without our permission, especially when there had been an expectation of privacy of that data in the past.
  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:26PM (#30480318) Homepage
    I have mine set off -- but I am wondering if maybe the new Facebook user interface hasn't hit me yet?

    On the Profile page, go to the "Friends" box on the left-hand side and click on the pencil. "Show friend list to everyone" is a checkbox.

  • by Kral_Blbec ( 1201285 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:50PM (#30480686)
    If you go to the Search page in the settings you can allow or disallow creation of a public index and remove yourself from the internal index. Once again, its easier to complain about it then actually figure out how to use it.
  • Re:Oh teh Noes! (Score:3, Informative)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @07:13PM (#30480902) Journal

    The difference between the strawmen that you've thrown up and Facebook is that unlike homes and eateries, people can do without Facebook. As a society we have to develop health codes so that we can continue to live together and not all die of disease. The same thing goes with building codes. We can't have our neighbors building unstable structures that will collapse... or running gas pipes that will leak and explode... or water pipes that will burst and flood the neighborhood.

    On the other hand, you can turn off your computer right now and never see Facebook again and your neighbors won't care. Your city won't be any worse off without Facebook.

    Facebook and the various third parties involved with it and similar sites are simply marketers who have moved onto the next thing. Junk mail doesn't work. Telemarketing doesn't work. Yet all sorts of people are freely sharing information on the internet and that is where the marketing is being focused. "There is no such thing as a free lunch." still holds true on the internet. What right does anyone have to believe that a company like Facebook won't monetize their investment? Facebook didn't materialize out of nowhere simply so that people could have a convenient way to stay in touch with their friends and play free games. Those games aren't free. The servers that run the service and the internet connections that make the service accessible cost money. That money will be recouped somehow.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian